Hebron, Sansana, South Hebron Hills, Tuesday, 27.9.2011, Morning
Translator: Charles K.
Sansana - Meitar crossing
Packed with trucks and private cars on both sides of the checkpoint. A sign of active commerce and many workers.
The shed and the revolving gates are empty. All the laborers already went through. “Normalization.”
Almost completely empty. Israeli flags flying defiantly, blatantly, all along the road.
At the turn to Carmel, energetic settlers paste everywhere they can posters reading: “Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria next year.”
There’s “hope” in the air this Rosh HaShana. No one here has any doubts.
Many army and other security personnel at the turn to Bani Na’im on the dirt tracks that bypass the road. Soldiers on their way in to the locality.
A Border Police soldier blocks the road. “Closed military area,” he says. A jumpy officer chases us off rudely and demands we erase photos we’ve taken. Hagit demands to see his ID and a document authorizing him to give us such orders. In response he demands her ID, calls someone and gives them her details.
The law has “muscle.” It seems to be very important to him to show who’s in charge here. They’re apparently making a great effort to find the non-Jewish stone throwers.
Jeeps and soldiers at the entrance to Kiryat Arba. The civilian guard cynically asks M., our driver, who’s a fan of Barcelona’s soccer team, and has its pennants hanging permanently in his car: “Isn’t it time to hang the tricolor flag with the triangle instead of Barce’s pennants?” But, as always, he doesn’t prevent us from coming in. “Just great!”
There’s now a paratroop battalion in Hebron.
Next to Beit HaMeriva we ran into Osama, who lives on the Worshippers’ Route and as a result the entrance to his home was sealed about a year and a half ago. He says nothing’s changed since then even though “Yesh Din” has tried to help him. Nor does he believe there’s any chance his door will be unsealed. Our friend B., who lives right next to Beit HaMeriva, also shows up. He says the area has been quiet for a long time. A paratroop officer and soldier watch the “traitoresses,” but don’t say anything. All they’ll say to us is that they won’t get leave for the holiday, and they remember that when they were children people expressed to them the hope that when they grew up they’d no longer have to serve in the army. What’s important is that, for now, the army “lives” in this house. The adjoining Moslem cemetery is being renovated, and there are also concrete blocks and concertina wire everywhere. Two elderly women trudge through the obstacles on the road which was once much easier to walk along. They complain how hard it is to get through. And we, as always, say nothing, embarrassed.
In general, what’s most noticeable in this [mixed Arab-Jewish] ghost town [Hebron] are the pedestrians. Old men, women carrying babies and small children can only walk, ascend and descend difficult, steep paths up Shuhada Street toward Tel Rumeida, etc. All so they don’t interfere with the movement of the “lords of the land.” No detainees at any of the checkpoints. Just the usual desperation.
On our way back, near Dahariyya, we met some young people. One of them, who sells sheep, told us that yesterday, on his way to Nablus, near Ma’ale Mikhmash, settlers attacked him, threw rocks, broke windows in his vehicle and beat him. He didn’t try to call for help because, in his experience, the police do nothing when Palestinians are attacked. He simply fled. He was also attacked two months ago near “Shavei Shomron.” Now he shows us the marks on his car from the rocks. He’d already replaced the window. He agrees to notify us immediately the next time it happens so we can help him file a complaint and/or give him the names of our members who deal with that specific region so one of us can assist him. We also suggested that he carry a camera with him and take pictures if he can do so without endangering himself.